Around this time two years ago we discussed the passages
in Sanas Cormaic and Tochmarc Emire which seek to explain
the meaning of the word Beltaine. This being the eve of
Beltaine/Mayday, I'd like to revisit those definitions,
then ask a question.
Sanas Cormaic, #153:
Bil ó Bial .i. día ídal, unde beltine .i. tene Bil nó Beil.
= Bil from Bial, i.e. an idol god, from which 'beltine',
i.e. fire of B__ or of B__ [Bil and Beil are genitive
forms, of a nominative Bel, Bil, or Bial, apparently]
Tochmarc Emire la Coinculaind (p.246 of CELT document):
Nó co beldine 'diu, ainm de idail. is ann doaselbti dine
gacha ceathra for seilb Beil. Beldine iarum bel-dine,
dine cecha cethrai.
= Or else until Beldine, the name of an idol. It is then
that a "dine" (flock, herd, portion?) of every livestock
would be given over into the possession of Bel. Beldine
[is] accordingly bel-dine, a "dine" of each livestock.
In cheist indossa: Outside these early scholarly glosses,
is there any mention of a god Bel/Bil/Bial in early Irish
Best wishes for Beltaine! Beannachtaí an lae, na míosa,
agus na ráithe atá ag tosú oraibh go léir!